Why you should upgrade your older iPhone to iOS 9.2.1


iOS 9.2.1 vs 8.4.1 speedtest
Aaaaaaaand ... go.
Photo: iApple Bytes

Some informal testing reveals that if you’re still rocking an old iPhone, you should probably upgrade to iOS 9.2.1.

iApple Bytes put three different models of older iPhones — the 4s, 5 and 5s — up against each other in a variety of tests designed to see which of them was faster starting up, using apps and running Siri, Apple’s digital assistant. Half were running the brand-new iOS 9.2.1, which arrived yesterday, and half were still on iOS 8.4.1, which has been around since August 2015.

You can see their results below in iApple Bytes’ series of videos.

iPhone 4s

iPhone 5

iPhone 5s

This is, again, informal testing; nobody’s clocking processors here. But in most basic, everyday tasks, it looks like iOS 9.2.1 outdoes the older system — and the older the iPhone, the more improvement you see (generally).

Why compare this system in particular? While adoption of iOS 9 has been really high, 19 percent of iPhone owners are still running a five-month-old version. The testers cite reasons including not wanting new features to bog down their systems and wanting to keep their phones jailbroken, which we suppose makes sense.

Still, we like our iPhones working as quickly as possible, and it’s cool to see that this is actually happening between software versions.

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  • David Theil

    Thanks Evan for pointing out 9.2.1 is out. My 6+ is still running 9.0.x . I almost always like to wait until the first incremental upgrade and have been studiously clearing my screen of the annoying *nightly* reminders to update to 9.2 To me, clearing out that annoying alert hat is about the most compelling reason to update from my 4+ months old version.

  • Christina Marie McDonald

    I love your Bio on this page! Its awesome! Lol! I am not really into blogs but I really thought ur insight on the new update for older iPhones was very helpful! Thanks!

  • Bernhard Häussermann

    Is it just me, or does iOS 8.4.1 (on the left side) look faster than iOS 9.2.1 in all three videos? For instance, the boot-up time, the time it takes for the keyboard to appear. Most other things look practically the same speed on both phones.